tv MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle MSNBC August 8, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PDT
the photograph here from the l.a. rams. we'd love to hear your thoughts. facebook, snapchat instagram. thanks to the amazing crowd here in somerville. we will be here tomorrow again, as president trump remains in bedminster at his golf club, not to far from where we are for the rest of the week. right now more news with stephanie ruhle. i know at this live studio audience you want to bring them to 30 rock. >> i don't want to bring them to 30 rock. i want to be there. jersey strong, my sister. >> thank you so much. crowd loves it. crowd agrees. they want you here. >> i might have to pay you all a visit on my way down to long beach island. thank you so much, misjo. it is wednesday, august 8. s break news, a congressman indicted on insider trading charges. congressman chris collins, the
first member of congress to back donald trump for president has been arrested. he's expected to appear in court today. law enforcement officials say the new york republican surrendered to the fbi this morning. critical special election for an open house seat is this morning too close to call. >> balderson delivering a victory speech last night without a clear-cut victory. >> i'm going to promise to you i'm going to work relentlessly for this 12th congressional district. >> your opponents are calling you the loser this morning. to that you say what? >> this race is too close to call. the margin is 1700 votes. we have 8,000 votes why et to be counted. >> this is a district hasn't been in democratic party hands since ronald reagan was president. this is why i think democrats are heavy favorites.
>> now telling us all the votes are counted. lead here, it's 191 votes for kris kobach over jeff colyer. incumbent governor. >> it is the story of the morning. elon musk speculating or declaring in a string of tweets he could take the company private. >> whether or not he's done anything illegal is far from certain. >> we begin with breaking news. republican congressman in the state of new york chris collins, is now in fbi custody. collins and his codefendants including his own son, are facing insider trading charges that include multiple counts of securities fraud e one count of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of making false statements. he has been a very close ally of president trump. he was the first member of congress to endorse him back in
2016. he was a very close ally of tom price, instrumental in price being chosen as hhs secretary. you know price has since left that post. collins' attorneys have released an official statement saying quote, we will answer the charges filed against congress collins in court. and will mount a vigorous defense to clear his good name. it is notable that even the government does not allege that congress man collins traded a single share of innate therapeutic stock. we are confident he'll be completely vindicated and exonerated. the complaint also alleged that collins was at the white house attending the congressional picnic when he conducted some of the activity that led to the insider trading charges. this one is extraordinary for me. he's nots just being investigated. he's not just being charged. he was arrested. they knocked on his door and arrested him. a serving congressman. wow. joining me now nbc news
investigations reporter tom winter live on the phone and former u.s. attorney for the district of new york. how does this go down? >> well, stephanie, as you said and as the diindictment says, t congressman was at the white house for a congressional picnic and apparently, according to the dime he received information -- he's on the board of directors of this immunotherapeutics, a company out of australia and received information that a drug trial was not going as well. as a matter of fact a completely clinny cal failure. according to the indictment he picked up the phone and calls his son. stock had been held pending news in australia, meaning no shares could be traded in australia, which is where the congressman had all of his shares. however, his son and several relatives and associates of his had their shares held in the united states. they were traded over the
counter market here. so those shares were not held. that allowed his son, according to the indictment, to be able to place a number of orders and safe -- >> hold on a second. when you talk about the -- but hold on a second. when you talk about the trading halting. that's for regular shareholders. if you're on the board of directors, aren't you held to a different standard? >> that's exactly correct. that's the reason why -- and the congressman's attorneys are absolutely correct. congressman is not charged with selling shares or doing trading. as a matter of fact he lost a significant amount of money. but when you have nonpublic information about the company that may be material to the company in it stock, you cannot share that information before it's made public. so i can know about it because i'm on the board of directors but i can't share that with somebody else before the company released a statement.
that's where they're in trouble. >> how serious are the charges? this is not the first we've heard about this with chris collins. previously, we had heard about him encouraging other members of congress when the stock price is very chloe, thlow. >> is this is is extremely serious. basically he's taking advantage of his fiduciary duty to this company and providing information to his son and other relatives so they can dump their stock, take the profits, before the bad news comes out to the public. basically, the investing public is being defrauded by virtue of what he's doing. >> let's add another level because the rules are different if you're a member of congress. in fact, they're better. >> they are. but, in this case, he's an actual member of the board. he's not just a member of congress. he's a member of the board. and what's startling here is that right after he gets the word on the telephone, it looks like the government's got all this phone records, all of his
text records. he makes a number of calls to his son, does reach him at first. >> calls him six times. >> nobody calls anybody six time force a hey, how are you doing. >> absolutely not. when you juxtapose that with the next morning, he immediately sells all of his shares. then, i'm sure the phone records show that he calls other family members, who in turn sell shares. you're talking millions of dollars here that's at stake. and very serious criminal activity to could wind up with him being in prison the next five years. >> millions of dollars. he is already a rich guy. i believe he was the first member of congress to endorse the president. he was one who was outspoken about the -- saying the president should not have to release his taxes. now i wonder why. tom, as of 2015, collins had the 10th highest estimated net worth of anybody in the house, more than $66 million. what questions -- i mentioned it
briefly -- had we previously heard? >> i think -- these allegations related to specific stock issues, first came up over a year ago. i'm not mead yoimmediately fami with any other issues he may have from a financial standpoint. it's serious. he surrendered himself to the fbi this morning. he's going to be presented in court later today. he's been indicted. this is kind of a more long-term case. something they developed a significant amount of evidence to. phone conversations, people that have agreed to provide cooperating information. i think at this point, the congressman's in a heap of trouble here. as it relates to the specific securities charges that he's been hit with. >> again, it's not just the congressman. it's his son, and the son's soon to be father-in-law? >> yes.
there's a number of family members involved. including his son's fee iancfia >> there's another individual shovelled in sto ininvolved in stock trading. >> anything the president can do to help collins here? has the -- the president has not said anything yet. but this is definitely a member of congress who's been an early and ardent supporter of president trump. >> will he do anything? will he pardon him? >> is this a situation where he could be pardoned? but if it happened in new york state, if it's a state issue, not a federal issue. >> this is a federal issue. now, again, this is another one of those people close to the president who's facing criminal charges and being charged with federal crimes. i mean i guess at this point, the only real legal principle that applies is that
well-established one that says birds of a feather flock together. president said drain the swamp. thank you so much. we're going to continue to cover this story as it develops this morning. and, now we get into this. two closely watched races from yesterday's primaries and especially elections. two close to call. people are focussed on politics. razor thin margins, what they mean for the midterms and for trump in 2020. you're watching "velshi & ruhle." cause trouble with recal. - learning from him is great... when i can keep up! - anncr: thankfully, prevagen helps your brain and improves memory. - dad's got all the answers. - anncr: prevagen is now the number-one-selling brain health supplement in drug stores nationwide. - she outsmarts me every single time. - checkmate! you wanna play again? - anncr: prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
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we got breaking news. we just heard from president trump's attorney rudy giuliani. nbc's kristen welker is live at the white house. what did you learn? >>reporter: well i just spoke with the president's attorney by phone, and a couple key headlines to tell you about. they do plan to submit their counter proposal to the special counsel by the end of today. this is an offer for what an interview might look like with the president. giuliani telling me we're going to send it out today and it will be a legitimate offer to find a way to do an interview. it won't be a refusal. that's significant because giuliani essentially making the case we are keeping the negotiations open. i asked him why does he think the office of the special counsel is open to the possibility of a counter proposal.
remember, they've been going back and forth since january. giuliani telling moo he they didn't say in the last letter this is the final offer and we haven't done that either. effectively saying the tone of these communications that are going back and forth between each side is one aimed at finding some way to negotiate a potential interview. we know president trump has indicated behind the scenes to his legal team that he wants this interview to happen. his legal team far more skeptic skeptical. concerned about things like follow ups, interview stretching on for too long. we know in the last proposal, they did agree to some concessions, for example, they agreed to some questions receiving written answers. but, not the entirety of the enter view. that's something the president's legal team had floated. this is still a work in progress, i asked is it more likely than not that an interview is going to happen? he said it will make it more
likely because we could have responded no. he's going back to this broader point that they are keeping negotiations open, so is the special counsel. when will we have a final answer? that remains to be seen. >> as they say in dumb and dumber, so you're saying there's a chance. kristen welker, thanks so much. we are also keeping a close eye on a high stakes primary race and especially elections that are too close to call. but both parties celebrating in a sign of what could come in november. in the battleground state of ohio, in a race that was not supposed to be close, republican troy balderson narrowly led democrat danny connor in the especially election for the 12th congressional district seat. solidly red for more than 30 years. the numbers are so close the race could be headed for a recount. another race is the republican primary for kansas governor. trump backed cris-- big night f
women. victories in three states. pushed the number of women nominees running for the house to at least 183. according to the center for american women in politics, d.c. is about to get its first muslim congresswoma congresswoman. democrat won the primary last nite. she is set to ununopposed in november. joining me two. former senior strategist and pollster for president obama. let's start with you evan. first of all, let's talk balancedersbald derson versus o'connor. and giving a victory speech. >> it is so close. i think balderson will end up prevailing at the end of the day given the way the provisional ballots will go. i think republicans are really trying to shine something that isn't good. this is a district that
president trump won by 11 points. no democrat has been elected to this house seat since 1980. we are having a very big problem. if a democrat can bring it to 1754 votes in terms of margin of difference between the two candidates, in this district, i am terrified as a republican because it confirmed z everything we've been seeing on the ground, erosion of married suburban white women voting for gop candidates and giving the majority in both parties. they are abandoning the party. >> if what you're saying is last night's election is not about who won and what's to come, democrats shouldn't lick the wounds, but the chops. i look to the green party. 1% of the votes. had that one percent gone to o'connor, he would actually be slightly and just slightly but within the margin and calling for a recount. is this a moment for the
democratic party to say listen, we appreciate green party k candidates. one believes in science, one doesn't. >> i said this for a long time. it's about green parties, right now. i think the sanders and alexandria cortez wing of the party. you have to make a decision whether or not you want to defeat republicans and put more democrats who will fight for working people in office or sacrifice people on the altar of political rigid ideal ji. we can't losing races by splintering the party. if you look where balderson under performed, you expect democrats to do very well in franklin county but also in delaware county. he did a little better there. i think there's a real pathway for democrats there to concentrate on delaware county and build up that margin. winning this district, if he
wins it, if he holds up and wins by 1700, there aren't enough voters in rural ohio to make up the difference that democrats can gain in this district in both franklin and delaware county. >> but your concern that sort of the trump brand is hurting votes in suburban america, crisco -- >> not in a general election. i know the republican governor es a 's association asked him not to g get involved in kansas. but he did anyway. i think that going back to the ohio race, and the midterms overall, i think the biggest story and what will be the biggest issue is going to be health care. danny o'connor ran as his top priority are making it more accessible and afford b8. >> right there. that's what he ran on. he barely talked about trump. yet the more i speak to
democrats, here, all day long, it's no trump, no trump. is the formula for the midterms put trump aside and run on issues that help americans. >> you can't put trump aside but you don't have to talk about it. he is hanging over competitive races like a dark cloud. that's what i have said to every democrat democratic candidate i work with. you don't have to invoke him. he is there. swing voters. look, people in kansas are salivating over being able to run against him with laura kelly, the democrat. it's not that long ago kansas elected a democratic governor. earlier this century. what you have to do as democrats is not wave trump in everyone's face every day. his approval ratings are still at historic lows. run the campaign and find the issues and values of which he's alienating those voters. and run those campaigns on a few issues where there's a huge
wedge with trump, you don't have to invoke him day in and day out. in fact i think it's a mistake. make the campaigns about their lives. >> i should have asked before, but when you said your message to democrats is unify here, what did they say back to you? because i hear your message, but then when i look at them and hear what they have to say, when nancy pelosi tells rolling stone that seth moleton, stim ryan no major players i'm saying aren't they young, future forward-thinking? >> i think the democratic party is a more diverse party. we ought to capitalize on that. what we need to do is win more elections at every level right now. you heard me say this probably a million times if you've heard me say it once. right here on this show. we will not win elections if we don't appeal and keep to moderate democrats and moderate independents in our party. >> is diversity the voice.
nobody has the guts to say i respect what you have to say but if you want us to win you have to get behind me. >> last night there were a couple of places where sanders and cortez supported candidates and lost. get on board with the person who won. that's what we do as democrats. if you want to win, if your ideology is more porntimportant out of our party. if you want to win back candidates who fairly won. >> cortez is saying well you need to run authentic. because if you run a moderate, they're not going to win. those who forget history are condemned to repeat. in 2006 democrats took back the house and senate because they ran moderate candidates. i don't think cortez's district in queens is anywhere comparable. they have different values and beliefs. >> authentic and idealistic are
two different things. >> but she's conflating it with being to the extreme left. if you are somehow not on the extreme left you are a fake and not a real democrat and no better than a republican. i think that she really needs to hone in on, as to other democrats, health care. obamacare's premiums are coming out two 0 three weeks before election. those premium raises are going to be high and shocking. republicans own it. additionally, private insurance rates are going to be coming out and then. some are going up. i have a friend going up by 25%. that is something's people don't want. if democrats run on that and creand -- they're going to do very well and possibly take back the house. >> run on issues i call the 60% to 70% issues. people in your district and state agree with us at a level of 60% or 70%.
mainstream issues on maihealth care, expanding obamacare, common sense gun law, improving health care, expanding made care. raising wages for people who got stiffed. big corporations profits went up. >> the income and equality divide is massive. president trump had the insight to go after it. he said he was going to solve it. here's what's happened. he hasn't solved it. he's exacerbated it. thank you so very much. next, breaking news, stay on that republican congressman from new york, chris collins arrested, charged with insider trading. we're going to dig into his latest final disclosures. you're watching "velshi & ruhle"
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obama or bush at this point in the administration. the regulatory relief is really a part of the reason our economy is doing well. stock market's at record highs. pulled us out of the trans-pacific partnership that would have cost this country hundreds of thousands of jobs. same goes for the paris climate accord. >> we continue to follow the breaking news on that man right there. republican congressman chris collins of new york. praising president trump last year. but right now, congressman collins is due in federal court after being indicted on insider trading charges. pros kurtsers say he used z his position at a biotech firm where he was on the board of directors to help his family avoid almost 1 million bucks in stock losses. he surerves on the board of inne immunotherapies. he owns 17% of the stock. here's what happened. according to the indictment, last year, after discovering that a major drug trial had
failed, he passed that information on to his son, but it wasn't public information yet. his son then allegedly told several others and all made quote timely trades company's stock. once news went public the stock plunged by 92%. indictment says the defendants avoided more than $768 grand in losses by selling their stock before the results went public. wo joining me now capitol hill correspondent and anchors. guys, i want to start with a quick flashback. january, 2017. jake sermherman tweets this. flash back overheard in the capital new york represent chris collins talking loudly into a phone off the house floor bragging about how many millionaires i've made in buffalo in the last month. bragging about a stock he shared
with people. wow! talk about what has happened here, and have we heard anything from republican congressional leadership? >> we knew there was investigation into this on the ethics side. there had been a lot of questions about this company, hhs secretary tom price. this was raised in his--former secretary i should say. this was raised in his confirmation hearing. a lot of concerns about his involvement. to a certain extent it's not as big of a surprise as it could be. so far the sources i've spoken to are saying behind the scenes they weren't aware that anything like this was coming. now the house speaker paul ryan had been pretty aggressive in pushing out members of his conference who have behaved badly. we talked a lot about sexual harassment instances, things along those lines. however, there's -- it's not
unprecedented for a member of congress facing an indictment, facing charges to continue to serve. there will be some decisions that house leaders have to make about just how hard are they going to pressure chris collins to potentially step aside and take himself or the ballot or something along the lines if they feel this is serious enough to do that. they don't have a ton of options necessarily. they could push the ethics committee in theory, although they obviously have very carefully guarded processes that are already under way. but remember, senator bob th menendez served the entire time he was fighting charges. he was ultimately exonerated but now having a lot of trouble potentially in the reelection fight. there are some democrats wishing they had taken stronger action. perhaps an example to look at. >> could we see other lawmakers get dragged into this. chris collins was instrumental in then hhs tom price getting
the job. but when he held office he was also involved in some of these tech companies. these tech stocks, though he didn't sit on the board. >> that's an interesting question. this is the indictment about 30 pages. what the law says is ultimately you can't tip people if you have material nonpublic information and have you a duty of obligation, a if you had fiduciary yaduty to the company. you can't tip people who then go on to trade. you need a tip, obligation and trade. indictment says they have all of those things here in this case with the congressman. what's striking to me is just how sloppy some of this allegedly was. you often see people going to extreme lengths to hide their trail. they use burner phones, meetings -- this indictment alleged he got an e-mail directly from the company about a failure of its major drug. its only significant drug, while he was at the white house
congressional picnic. >> that's what's stunning to me. >> called his own son on his own phone. >> calls him six times. you don't call somebody six times unless the house is on fire or you're trying to save him a million bucks on insider information. >> that's exactly the question here. why would collins do that, knowing that those phone calls can be easily traced. all the text messages captured by the prosecutors. collins' lawyers say because he personally never sold any shares of innate, the stock in question, therefore he's going to fight this. he's no the guilty. he's ultimately going to be exonerated. >> hold on then. >> the question is whether he tipped his son and the prosecutors are saying he did do that. >> okay. so it doesn't matter, though, if he didn't trade the stock. he is the one who shared the information as an officer of the company. he can't do that. then what position does that put the son in? he's in trouble and the son's soon to be father-in-law is in trouble too. >> i'd a shakes peerian drama
for the family. fiance's father and some other family and friends. they all make trades according to the indictment. you can imagine what thanksgiving is going to be like at that family this year. very, very difficult for those folks when prosecutors have the amount of evidence they have here on open phone lines, text messages, e-mails back and forth. it's all pretty blatant, according to the dime. now, maybe there's something we're missing here and you have to give the benefit of the doubt to those indicted. indict is an allegation at this point. everyone is innocent until proven guilty. there's a lot of smoke here, though. and collins and his friends and families are going to be at pains to explain what they did and why that was perfectly legal. >> all right. as of 2015, i want to say, he's the tenth highest net worth in the house. $66 million is a big number. before we go, the house is in
recess now. does that blunt the impact of thi this in any way? >> sure. yeah. i mean it mean that is there are probably quite a few of collins' associates or friends in the house who are glad they don't have to confront our cameras. all back home in the districts. at the end of the day this is going to be a story that drags on for a while. while we don't know if there are other members involved. obviously the tweet suggests he was excited about spreading this kind of knowledge around. so, who knows? it's possible we could end up following other threads over the months. and then, the questions are going to continue to dog leadership as well if he continues to serve in the congress. and we also haven't touched on the big question about what the president might do. remember, chris collins was his very first supporter in congress at a time when the president --
now president, was a candidate who the entire republican party was fleeing, was shunning. they were all hoping that anybody else on that debate stage was going to get that nomination. chris collins was out there having his back. that's the kind of thing that the president trump administration, his family loyalists don't forget that. i think that's another dynamic. >> ironically he was one of the few people saying he shouldn't have to release his taxes. i wonder why. thank you so much. quite a story. next, we got another biggie. elon musk pulled a president trump making a market shifting announcement on twitter with little information to actually back it up. the tesla ceo says he wants to take his company private and he's got the funding to do it. who are the mystery investors? we do not know and will shareholders vote with him? we'll see. they've made a lot of money from this guy in the past. what hasn't made money is the
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this stock has a whole lot of short sellers. something like that hurts. cryptic announcement came after an exclusive report from the final times which revealed a new connection between the electric car company and the saudi arabia government. the public investment fund has quietly accumulated a stake of between 3% and 5% this year in the company making it tesla's largest single public investor. there are huge legal and technical complexities and if he is serious about going private, it is highly unusual to simply throw out a tweet like that. but, if nothing comes of this, if there is no deal and it was just a reactionary tweet in response to critics, which you know he is hyper sensitive of, then he could be facing some very serious penalties for making public statements that were untrue and drastically moved the market. that's the kind of behavior specifically that the sec investigates.
>> joining me now -- the saudi stake is big. from your reporting is there any sign that they would want to go further and be that buyer to take the company public? >> well, we don't think they would go for the whole $70 billion he's possibly got to raise to get this deal done. if it he intends to. but before amassing it, they contacted musk about doing an investment, kind of raising money, issuing more stock. he was against it and turned them away. then they got the help of jp morgan to kind of buy the stock over the course of a year. but $70 billion. how does that make sense? this is a company with problems with the model 3. negative. who would want to do something like that? the board could say well he mentioned it last week. mentioning something last week and actually having a strategic plan are two very different
things. i could say george clooney wants to date me. it means nothing. >> you're absolutely right. >> wait. so you think he's not. >> i didn't say that. >> you just said you're absolutely right. >> saying basically he's kind of the guy has not really been very clear at all about his plan. board today said he kind of floated the idea to them. but in the tweet he mentioned. he said i've secured the financing. that indicated this was a done thing. >> but how is that even legal? when you say he wasn't exactly clear, he wasn't exactly clear. and it caused the stock to spike 11%. when a ceo of a pub you clicly company, it's vetted and run through the compliance department. >> at the beginning everybody thought this was a prank. we you can't joke about a public company. it's like pension funds, people who put the savings in this company. >> one of the largest investors
is fidelity actively managed. they're not raising their hands saying what gives? i know elon musk has made them a ton of money but give me a break. >> the stock went up so nobody's probably going to complain right away. you've got to believe that the schl e kr. is looking into this. they haven't put a statement out. but there's no way this can -- i mean we don't want to speculate but this can't really go under the radar. >> but you can't -- we can speak to elon musk and the type of person he is. this year, he has gone out, pushed against wall street analysts, attacked not physically, but gone after journalists. he is almost obsessed with short sellers in the same kind of obsession the president has against his critics. we're not talking about the average ceo here. >> absolutely. the short sellers could lose up to $4 billion out of this whole maneuver. i mean, again, you'd expect these guys getting ready to sue the hell out of him because it is kind of suspicious, and
there's definitely no set proposal. the board hasn't set up a committee to review anything. he said we just need the shareholders to vote. vote on what? we don't have a plan. >> how independent is this board? is. >> not very. there's question marks. he's done other deals in the past which were rubber stamped. >> brother is on the board. >> absolutely. says it all, right? but the question is -- >> his brother's on the board. independent board of directors. his brother. >> correct. so we'll have to see. this is not going to be a smooth ride for tesla and elon musk. that's for sure. >> no pun intended. james. thank you so much for joining me. i appreciate it. next, back to our breaking news. republican congressman chris collins. seriously. sec is going to be busy. arrested and charged with insider trading. a news conference expected atny moment. you're watching "velshi & ruhle."
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charges against republican congressman chris collins. he surrendered to the fbi this morning after being indicted on insider trading charges. prosecutors say he helped his own family make illicit stock trades to avoid almost a million bucks in losses. house speaker paul ryan released this statement moments ago saying, quote, while his guilt or innocence is a question for the courts to settle, the allegations demand a prompt and thorough investigation by the house ethics committee. insider trading is a clear violation of the public trust. until this matter is settled, representative collins will not be serving on the house energy and commerce committee. whoo, that's pretty strong. there's been no statement yet from president trump. collins was the first lawmaker to publicly back him for president. >> you're going to start seeing a presidential mr. trump. he's talked about it, shifting into a more presidential speech-giving, policy positions, and demeanor.
>> wow. joining me now, nbc news investigations reporter tom winter, outside the courthouse in new york. and former assistant u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york, nick ackerman. nick, you can probably tell tom where all the good food trucks are down there. tom, i read the indictment. what does it signal to you about congressional support? >> reporter: looking at the indictment today, obviously it's an allegation, there's obviously a court and a trial process they'll go through here. but the evidence appears to be pretty strong. there are people who are cooperating, and there are a number of telephone calls and text messages that the deposit has been able to get access to that lay out exactly who was telling what when, and what phone calls were made. stephanie, on june 22nd of 2017, they have clear communications that they can see, call records
between the congressman and his son. it is during that conversation the government alleges that the congressman, who was on the board of directors of this pharmaceutical company, told his son, hey, this big clinical trial that they're doing for this drug that they hope to be able to release is essentially a complete failure. now, at that point the shares were frozen in australia, which is where the congressman had most of his stock, but they were not frozen here in the united states. and so his son later on, the next morning, placed a number of sell orders reaching 16 orders in total. he was able to save over a half million dollars in potential losses. once the news became public that the trial was a clinical failure authorize th for this drug. there are other family members that are tied up in it. cameron collins, the congressman's son, is one of the people who has been mentioned, as well as his fiance has been mentioned in the indictment. so we should get a little bit more detail here shortly.
as you mentioned before, we'll have a briefing with the fbi assistant director, bill sweeney, and u.s. attorney general berman who sis a trump appointee. but the indictment is very specific. to your question, stephanie, when you have this level of information, and when you have this level of detail contained within an indictment, i think for people that read it, they kind of look at it and say, okay, the evidence here is pretty strong. and while everybody is innocent, you know, assumed innocent here in the united states, sometimes the evidence is so much that i think speaker ryan and his people were probably looking at that and saying, this person has a problem here. >> the evidence is so strong, i feel like i'm missing something. chris collins, his son, his fiance, his fiance's father. i want to know who's going to be paying for the wedding after this. nick, given how clear-cut the evidence that we seem to have is, how serious is this? because usually an insider trading case, people go to great lengths. eamon javers mentioned it earlier, burner phones, middle
men that are complete strangers, accounts in other people's names. this guy is at the congressional picnic, calling the son six times over the course of 30 minutes. you're not making a call six times about forgetting to set the dvr. this is serious. >> he received information at one point and he panicked, he called his son six times to try and tell him what was going on so he could sell it. the evidence here, as tom said, it is -- there's telephone records, there's text messages, it looks like they have some insider from the family who is actually cooperating here. that will make the wedding even more interesting, particularly if the insider is an invitee. >> it's going to be a complicated wedding. the indictment is about this one specific instance in 2017. but i want to point to a tweet that politico's jake sherman put o out. he reports that back in january of 2017, he heard collins
talking loudly into a telephone off the house floor, bragging about the millionaires, quote, that i've made this month. we're not talking january 2017. this was broader than that. if we had been tipping off others, whether it's people in buffalo, and we know then-hhs-secretary tom price had been courted, other members of congress, collins saying you have to get in on this deal, knowing he's a true insider. >> that's a fair point. the question is how broad does this go, how greedy was he. we do have one sort of theme that runs through this trump administration and all the people around trump, that they are all greedy, they're not in there for the public service, they're out there to line their own pockets, even if it means breaking the law. see mr. manafort. that's exactly what that trial is about.
it's about agreegreed, cheating government, cheating the banks. this is more of that same pattern. >> there are some differences here, though. he's on the board of directors of companies, that's a problem. if you are a member of congress, even if you're on a committee that oversees a specific industry, as unethical as it may sound, you're allowed to trade securities in that industry. >> unfortunately, that's correct. >> and it's legal. >> that's the problem. that should be changed completely. there's no reason why people who are in public service should be able to trade on information that they get in public service. >> how common is it that they do? >> we don't know. but i think it's a problem. it's clearly a problem. i mean, certainly secretary price had that problem. i don't think we ever got to the bottom of it, because you've got a republican congress that really didn't care to get to the bottom of it. >> it sounds like paul ryan does here. i mean, this is a time when we rarely see republicans stand up
against the president or do much to, let's say, protect robert mueller's investigation. so for paul ryan, with only pretty limited information at this point, to come out so aggressively, that's not something we've seen as of late from republicans. >> you're going to see it here, because you've got 90 days until the midterms. and i think the last thing the republican leadership wants to make it appear is as though they're coddling somebody who has been accused of an extremely serious crime. so i think it's the timing more than anything else that has brought out this particular statement from the speaker. >> and talk me through how a pardon would work. president trump is all about loyalty. he remembers who cuts him. he remembers who sticks by him. and collins was an early supporter. >> yes, there's no question. trump could pardon him. he has the power to do it. it's not a situation where there's a conflict of interest between trump and this congressman. it's not like trump as far as we know is involved in this stock. >> no.
>> so i would think if he pardoned him, that would be a valid pardon, he said do that. >> with friends like these, who needs enemies? i think back to one of president trump's noteworthy phrase. he picks the best, best people. thank you, nick. i hand you off to andrea mitchell for "andrea mitchell reports." good day, we have breaking news. new york republican congressman chris collins, congressional liaison to the trump transition team, surrendering to the fbi this morning on charges of alleged insider trading and security fraud. we're expecting a news conference at any moment with u.s. attorneys. the government claims collins shared nonpublic information with his son about a biotech company where collins served on the board of directors. the congressman's legal team released a statement reading in part, we are confident he will be completely vindicated and exonerated. joining me now, nbc investigative